WORCESTER (CBS) – The fight against gun violence spearheaded by young people is about to center on Massachusetts. It’s called the March for Our Lives, and it kicks off Thursday in Worcester. WBZ spoke to some of the students planning the multi-day march about what they hope to accomplish.
“The fact that we’re walking 50 miles in itself is so powerful it’s kind of hard to ignore,” says Vikiana Petit-Homme from Boston who along with Jack Torres from Somerville are march organizers.
Both high school students were also involved in the Boston March for Our Lives earlier this year.
“Getting youth involved is really important. Getting them involved in the political process, getting them involved with activism and issues they care about, getting them registered to vote, those are all big focal points of our march,” Jack says.
This youth movement started in the aftermath of the mass murder at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and has spread across the country. One of the survivors of that tragedy, David Hogg, will be a part of Thursday’s protest.
The 50-mile march starts at Worcester City Hall and ends on Sunday with a protest rally at the Springfield headquarters of gun maker Smith and Wesson. “We believe that Smith and Wesson can take their company in a new direction. We’re hoping they can become a leader in the industry in terms of gun manufacturers being on the side of violence prevention,” says Jack.
And both teens say they’re not stopping until gun laws across the country are strengthened.
“Where it’s not exactly to ban all guns or take away all guns. It’s just to make sure that the laws that we have properly and thoroughly protect people instead of guns,” says Vikiana.
About 40 students are planning to make the full 50-mile march. Then on Sunday morning anyone who is interested can join the group for the final mile to the protest rally. WBZ reached out to Smith and Wesson to ask the company to comment on the march, but no one responded.